Archbishop plea for dress code

MUMBAI: : The Archbishop of Mumbai has appealed to all Catholic church-goers "to dress up decently" as a mark of respect to the place of worship and God.

In a circular, "Dress code for religious function", Cardinal Ivan Dias said: "The dress code and behaviour patterns in the church require our special attention. One cannot ignore the critical remarks being made by many, even by those of other faiths, with regard to the attire used by some persons ... when they worship in church".

"It is, therefore, fitting that everyone — priests, religious and lay-faithful — who come to church should present themselves in a manner befitting God's sacred presence there."

"We issued a circular to all churches on July 4 and published the notice in the Catholic magazine, Examiner, on July 9 after receiving critical remarks from the public about the way people dress up to churches... ," Anthony Charan Dutt, a spokesperson of the Catholic Sabha, said .

The Archbishop has appealed to church authorities to announce it in the churches. But "there is no enforcement," Mr. Dutt said.

"Whereas in days gone by, the `Sunday best' used to become at times a sort of fashion parade, the modern tendency would seem to go the other extreme, with people wearing an attire which is considered casual and unbecoming of the sacred dignity of the church," the circular said. — PTI

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